You know the score... a venomous letter to a local newspaper or website surfaces online, and the various fallacies are then backed up with replies from equally angry proponents of licence plates for cyclists and 'road tax'.
The letter from Phil Reay on The Argus' website - titled 'Time to crack down on cyclists' - states that cyclists "should be taxed, insured and have number plates". Mr Reay then says: "I know some cyclists have insurance (probably about two per cent) but if they hit something, it is what they hit that has to pay and surprise, surprise, it isn't always what they hit that is at fault.
"They use the roads and expect cycle lanes to be provided so, like other road users, they should pay tax, just like other vehicles. It doesn't have to be a lot and I would suggest something in the region of £10 would be sufficient.
"There is no way of identifying them if they break the law."
A number of replies to the letter don't quite go the way we'd have expected them to go, with one saying: "This idea [licensing cyclists] has been tried in other countries, like Switzerland, but as you say, it was impossible to administer and was abandoned. The only country that still has a scheme is North Korea. Phil thinks we should be more like North Korea."
Another shockingly reasoned reply says: "Cars have number plates and they still kill far more people than cyclists do each year, and car driver's kill more cyclists each year as well. It's one of the last non taxed modes of transportation you can have and it great fun!
"There will always be idiots on bikes number plate or not same as their will always be idots in cars."
One Argus reader, seemingly appalled by another sensible comment, replied: "What are you doing on the Argus comments page with your reasonable arguments and non-confrontational language? This platform is for angry small-minded bigots to vent their many frustrations, and this 'article' was posted for just that purpose. Go away."
In a world where there isn't much good news about at the moment, we'll consider this a small victory.
From next week we'll begin installing segregated cycle lanes on Pennywell Road as part of #SpacesforPeople creating links between various communities and the North Edinburgh Path Network, plus the coast. Find out more: https://t.co/arPlNtZFZq pic.twitter.com/8ZUQOxxwMi
— The City of Edinburgh Council (@Edinburgh_CC) September 11, 2020
An Edinburgh cyclist needed surgery after breaking his elbow when he crashed and fell onto the concrete base of a bollard segregating a Spaces for People cycle lane from traffic. Dean Loughton struck the base of the bollard, which was covered by snow, when he swerved to avoid a pothole. "They are meant to be there for the safety of the cyclist but these things are outrageously dangerous," he said.
"If they were luminous yellow it would be better but they are black and it’s really hard to see them at night." A passing motorist told the Edinburgh Evening News that he was close to hitting Loughton following the crash. The 32-year-old cyclist underwent surgery on Monday at the Royal Infirmary in the city.
With races and events being cancelled left, right and centre already once again, the organisers of The Cycle Show promise their 2021 event will go ahead in a safe environment between 25th-27th June at Alexandra Palace in London.
Highlights will include guests appearances from cycling heroes, and the usal array of bike porn from the likes of Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Canyon, Ribble, Raleigh and more. Social distancing won't be an issue, as Ally Pally happens to have 196 acres of parkland that will serve as a demo area to test out any potential bike purchases.
Tickets start from £16 and VIP packages start from £70 - you can grab your tickets here.
Italian pair Elia Viviani and Diego Ulissi have both been discharged from hospital following their respective treatment and cardiological tests. Viviani underwent atrial ablation surgery after he noticed an irregularity in his heart beat while training near Verona. Viviani's former team doctor at Liquigas, Dr. Roberto Corsetti treated him initially, before he was admitted to Lancisi University Hospital in Ancona for surgery on the anomaly.
Ulissi has been sidelined since mid-December after doctors discovered an irregular heart beat during a routine check up. The UAE Team Emirates puncheur was diagnosed with Myocarditis, an inflamation of the heart muscle and told to rest. Despite the recent treatment, team doctor Michele De Grandi told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport: "there are reasons to be optimistic."
Green urban mobility company Lime are adding electric mopeds to their fleet, starting with trials in Paris and Washington DC. Lime, who are the world's leading operator of shared electric vehicles, have already powered over 200 million rides worldwide across 120 cities through their e-bikes (pictured above) and e-scooters. Now, their electric mopeds can also be hired via the Lime app with more cities expected to be added if the trial is successful.
"The addition of electric mopeds to our fleet of e-bikes and e-scooters is another major step in our goal of ensuring access to affordable, carbon-free shared transportation in cities around the world" said Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime. "We are a committed partner to over sixty cities in Europe and we continue to invest heavily in sustainable and safe product solutions municipalities and riders need. This is why we choose Paris as one of two cities in the world to pilot our e-moped service allowing riders to make longer trips than ever before using the Lime app, in a safe and clean way."
If you are really interested in harm, why don’t you have a counter on your weekly header of the children killed each week by vehicles?
— Ian Callaghan (@willywigan) January 27, 2021
The motoring magazine, that once claimed three in four cyclists "break road rules", and whose columnist Mike Rutherford recently claimed that Covid-19 "is being used as a cover for an attack on the British motorist", is back with an attack on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.
The essay claims that various schemes have failed, and that LTNs are causing delays to emergency service vehicles; however this study on emergency response times in Waltham Forest, which has had an LTN since 2015, found that there was no evidence response times were affected inside low traffic neighbourhoods, using data from the London Fire Brigade. The Auto Express article does state that the Waltham Forest LTN has been hailed "a success" after intially being "met with resistance from the community".
Auto Express also highlights the money "wasted" on LTN schemes that have been altered or reversed, which it calculates to be around £1 million; however as observed by Coventry's Bicycle Mayor Adam Tranter, the magazine (and The Times) has expressed no such outrage for the £49 million spent on a roundabout near the M49 that never happened...
Lots of faux concern shown by car magazine at £1m "wasted" on low traffic neighbourhoods across an entire country, caused mainly because of the exact narrative they're perpetuating.
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) January 27, 2021
The UCI has confirmed that the cyclo-cross World Championships in Oostende will go ahead despite concerns about an outbreak of the South African coronavirus variant in the Belgian town. Het Nieuwsblad reports that there will be additional restrictions at the event with all riders, media and organisers having to undergo additional PCR testing.
In a statement the UCI said they had agreed to a "reduction of accredited persons and toughening of sanitary regulations". The decision followed talks with the Flemish Ministry of Sport.
"I would like to thank the spirit of cooperation demonstrated by all the players, organisers and competent authorities, who have made it possible to safeguard the Championships for the benefit of the athletes, viewers, partners, and all fans of our sport despite the current very challenging circumstances," said UCI president David Lappartient.
The men's race has been highly anticipated with Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert set to renew their rivalry on the biggest stage in cyclo-cross on Sunday. The women's and U23 races will be held on Saturday.
I’ve had a crash on the bike and ended up in hospital. 🚴🏻♂️💨🤕🚑 🏥 No cars involved, But I did come off the bike...
Just over a year after a horror collision with a driver in Texas which left Quigley with a puctured lung and multiple fractures, the 27-year-old from Livingston is in hospital again following a crash in Dubai.
Quigley posted to Facebook to give details of the crash, saying that no car was involved: "...I did come off the bike pretty hard whilst descending down a hill at about 35-40mph", said Quigley.
"Not sure the exact confirmed injuries yet but looking like I have multiple fractures. 3 on my pelvis, 2 on my shoulder / collarbone area, 1 on my elbow and 1 on my spine.
Not able to walk and have any independent mobility and in a lot of pain."
Quigley thanked friends who helped him get to hospital, and said he's still "a bit shaken up".
Quigley - who survived a suicide attempt and now hopes to inspire others through his travels - is no stranger to adversity during his previous cycling challenges, and has made no fewer than seven attempts to circumnavigate the globe by bike. During his doomed 2019 attempt, he had his bike stolen before even crossing the channel; previous to this, Quigley was fined for cycling through a pedestrianised area in Bedford. Quigley also abandonded a round-the-world attempt in 2016 after completing 10,000 miles. He finally tasted success in September 2020, breaking the North Coast 500 record by less than 5 minutes.
Quigley says he is in Dubai for "some winter training and racing", and competed in his first competitive race on 23rd January.
As the old adage goes, only three things in life are certain: death, taxes and delays to the hearing into former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman.
While we heard last Thursday that Freeman's lawyers were seeking a delay so he could help with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout (this request was rejected) the BBC's Dan Roan says on Twitter that this latest hold-up is due to "unforeseen circumstances".
On Saturday, we reported that Simon Jackson QC summed up by branding Freeman a liar who was prepared to put others at risk with his prescribing practices. For those of you who are still not familiar, Freeman is accused of ordering the banned substance Testogel while he was at Team Sky; however, he denies that he did so “knowing or believing” that they were intended for use by an athlete.
After announcing its closure, being saved and then announcing its closure again, the Bob Jackson Cycles saga has took another turn, after fellow frame builder Woodrup Cycles reportedly stepped in to save the legendary brand.
Less than three weeks ago, a Bob Jackson Cycles representative told road.cc that "the new buyers/management team who were due to sign and take over last Monday pulled out at very last minute"... however in an interview with Cycling Weekly, Tony Woodrup of Woodrup Cycles revealed that he is heading a group of local investors that will save Bob Jackson from closure, with its frames set to be made in a new Leeds factory by mid-2021.
“My grandpa [Woodrup founder, Maurice] was in partnership with Bob after World War II,” said Woodrup.
“We’ve always had that connection even after we split. They’re a real iconic brand.
“The old factory needed massive investment to be fair. It wasn’t in a great state of repair. Even if we’d gone in there we would have had to gut the place. So we’ve already found a new building that will incorporate a state-of-the art paint shop and new tooling. We’re looking at opening in around six months.”
The Bob Jackson Cycles website still carries a message that says it has ceased trading with immediate [e]ffect... will their be another twist in the tale? We'll keep an eye out for updates of course.
🚁🎥🚴♂️ ¡A toda velocidad desde el aire! Gracias a @rawsuperdrink y al piloto profesional de drones @Ivan_Merino5 por acompañarnos hace unas semanas en nuestros entrenamientos contrarreloj en el #CircuitoCostaDeAlmería 😍✌️ #RodamosJuntos #YoBeboSalud pic.twitter.com/kEma00CU8s
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) January 27, 2021
Someone at Movistar got a drone for Christmas...It does make you wonder about the possibilities for using drones to capture TV pictures at bike races. Pros: cheaper, greener, doesn't knock over race barriers, could get better pictures (probably) and they can fly closer to the bunch...I'm sold.
Team GB's BMX squad used drones with infra-red lamps and sensors before the Rio Olympics to collect data for staff to find ways to make their riders more efficient. Marginal gains...
New cycle track passing over a railway line in a rural area of South Holland was constructed with a barn on top, so any horses using the crossing were not alarmed by trains passing underneath. I'm guessing it is also a popular place to shelter when it rains during your ride pic.twitter.com/7nPu9Cy1mI
— Hackney Cyclist (@Hackneycyclist) January 26, 2021
Dutch cycling infrastructure looking out for horses as well as cyclists. Even got a little climb up to the top as well. It beats being stuck at a level crossing...For something closer to home, there's these new Dutch junctions in Manchester...CYCLOPS Junctions are designed to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians.
Help us boost air quality!🌳🌳
Have your say on the planning guidance by 23 February.
— Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (@RBKC) January 20, 2021
Ever thought about what Kensington and Chelsea Council are up to since ripping out the Kensington High Street cycle lane? It turns out they've drawn up green guidance plans to help boost air quality and lower carbon emissions in the borough...The irony hasn't been lost on those who saw the council's tweet announcing the news. Jeremy Vine replied: "I honestly feel like this account is trolling me." Another suggested: "You know what would really boost air quality? Putting the cycle lanes you ripped up back in. Just a thought."
On the council's website they say the current focus is on setting targets for developers building new homes or upgrading existing buildings...Councillor Johnny Thalassites said: "We have set our own ambitious targets to improve air quality, lower carbon emissions and keep our environment green – but we cannot meet them alone. The world has woken up to the climate crisis and we need to make sure our borough plays its part."
They've also launched a consultation period until February 23 for residents to give their thoughts...
The High St cycle lane would have helped boost, if you ask...
— Marina Lussich (@mlussich) January 20, 2021
How about giving the cyclists back the cycle lanes? Reduce pollution. Show active travel is a priority. Super simple.
— Dr Josie Perry (@Josephineperry) January 26, 2021
Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written about various sports including football and boxing for the Daily Express and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been enjoying life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England.